The benefits of apple cider vinegar for skin are discussed by dermatologists and a beauty chemist.
Apple cider vinegar has quickly become one of the most popular natural skincare ingredients. Can you really blame somebody for risking smelling like salad dressing in exchange for promised benefits like brighter, clearer skin? In the name of beauty, we’ve certainly done stranger things.
Even dermatologists believe that this fermented juice is beneficial to your skin. Dr Michele Green, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, states, “Apple Cider Vinegar is not only famous as your favourite salad dressing and as a fat-melting elixir.”
“It also offers a lot of skincare benefits,” says the author.
The pantry ingredient may seem benign to utilise in a DIY skincare recipe because it can be found in your kitchen. But before you go pouring the bottle all over your face, read out what dermatologists and skin specialists have to say about the benefits and negative effects of apple cider vinegar, as well as the best technique to use it.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar, and how does it work?
Apple cider vinegar (also known as ACV) is created from apples through a fermentation process. It’s a liquid that’s typically used as a toner but can also be utilised as a spot treatment when applied topically.
Apple cider vinegar has an acidic pH by nature and can help balance the pH of the outer skin layer, explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital.
It contains acetic acid, which has antibacterial and keratolytic characteristics, as well as malic acid, a gentle chemical exfoliator, in the form of vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar’s Skin Benefits
Although there isn’t enough scientific data to back up most of the claims made about apple cider vinegar, its compounds may provide the following skin benefits in theory:
Apple cider vinegar may help maintain your skin functioning efficiently by balancing the pH of the outer skin layer, according to Zeichner. This includes things like creating the proper amount of oil and dealing with acne-causing bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar includes malic acid, which is related to alpha hydroxy acid, which exfoliates the skin, according to Green. Malic acid is good for acne-prone skin since it exfoliates gently to clear pores and kill bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar, which has antibacterial properties, can also be blended with baking soda and water to exfoliate and help decrease blackheads, according to Green.
According to Green, the malic acid in apple cider vinegar can aid with hyperpigmentation issues including black patches. Malic acid is known for its potential to reduce melanin synthesis, she explains.
Because melanin is responsible for skin pigmentation, malic acid is effective in reducing hyperpigmentation.
Green says that because the chemical exfoliator malic acid is milder than most AHAs, it’s acceptable for all skin types—just make sure to patch test any new products first. Other ingredients in apple cider vinegar can irritate and dry the skin, and studies show that the acetic acid in the vinegar can cause chemical burns.
If the recipe turns out to be excessively harsh, a simple approach to avoid this is to dilute it more than indicated.
How to Make Use of It
Apple cider vinegar is a potent substance that, as previously stated, can cause chemical burns. As a result, before applying it to the skin, it should always be diluted with water—generally, one part apple cider vinegar to four parts water.
Sophia Roe, a natural beauty expert, holistic chef, and member of The Vitamin Shoppe Wellness Council, suggests using it as a toner, as do many others. We live in a beauty product–saturated culture, Roe continues, and many people are using numerous cleansers, masks, and so on.
This can compromise the skin’s natural defences over time. When this happens, your skin is more susceptible to outbreaks and dryness. Using ACV as a fast toner is a terrific method to restore the face’s natural defences, remove extra dirt, and help combat acne, she explains.
Ginger King, CEO of Grace Kingdom Beauty and a cosmetic chemist, agrees. Because of its acidity, it’s been used as a toner, she notes, and diluting is recommended, especially for sensitive skin.
According to Valerie Grandury, founder of Odacité, apple cider vinegar is outstanding in battling acne-causing bacteria and helps to minimise the appearance of both pimples and scars.
Her advice is to use it as an overnight spot treatment by mixing a little amount with a powder mask-like Odacité Synergie Immediate Skin Perfecting Mask ($64), then applying it to your problem and letting it on overnight.
Possible Negative Consequences
Because apple cider vinegar is such a common household item, you might think it’s perfectly safe. While there may be no reason to be concerned if you are otherwise healthy, there are certain potential side effects to be aware of, especially if the concentration is too great or is in touch with your body for an extended period of time.
Chemical burns, for example, maybe caused by apple cider vinegar. There have been instances of chemical burns after using apple cider vinegar to treat warts and molluscum contagiosum, a skin ailment.
Although apple cider vinegar is popular as a home treatment for teeth whitening and breath freshening, the acidity can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Apple cider vinegar can cause low potassium levels, hypoglycemia, throat irritation, and allergic responses when taken internally. It is an acid that, when ingested undiluted or in excessive amounts, can cause burns and harm to the digestive tract (particularly the throat, oesophagus, and stomach).
Acids are substances with a pH of less than 7. A pH of 2 to 3 indicates a high amount of acidity in many apple cider vinegar products.
Certain drugs, such as laxatives, diuretics, blood thinners, and heart disease and diabetes drugs, may interact with apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar should not be used as a nasal spray, sinus wash, or neti pot, nor should it be used with eye drops.
The vinegar will not help you get rid of lice.
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